“”Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot,
Nothing is going to get better. It’s not.”
~ Dr. Seuss, from The Lorax
Environmental News Daily Updates
We are all about sharing information. We add a new link to related articles on a daily basis. To see a recap of this month’s articles visit our Daily Updates Archive. (Worth a read!)
October 31, 2016
7 Ways to Power Your Home With Renewable Energy
By Avery Thompson
Unless you’re filthy rich, you’re probably always on the lookout for ways to save a couple bucks. One of the best ways to cut your monthly bills is by investing in renewable energy. Not from the power plant, but stuff you can scare up yourself.
Using renewable energy to power your home can reduce or completely eliminate your utility bills, and the tax incentives for installing renewables can make them even more cost effective. Here are seven different ways to power your home with renewable energy.
US Consulate General Chiang Mai Goes BioChar After Conference with Warm Heart
by City Life
The US Consulate General Chiang Mai has declared that it will go fully BioChar after a conference today with Michael Shafer from Warm Heart introducing the facts and theory behind the burning technique, followed by a demonstration to officials and a training program for the gardeners at the consulate.
Exactly two months after the new US Consul General in Chiang Mai took her position, Jennifer Harhigh told Citylife that if the training goes well, she hopes to see the US Consulate fully BioChar by the end of the month.
In the conference, Michael Shafer discussed the impact of traditional burning techniques and identified the benefits of using BioChar. “65- 70% of people in Thailand still regularly use charcoal to cook with,” he said. “It creates a lot of smoke when its made in the factories, and you only see about 30% of the biomass retained as charcoal to sell. Its very ineficient. If you burn in a BioChar oven, you can retain 75% of that biomass, sell it as charcoal and not produce any smoke.”
Thailand is the 22nd largest contributor to carbon emissions globally and the 2nd largest consumer of artificial pesticides and fertilisers in Southeast Asia. “Thailand uses more pesticides than all of the United States,” said Shafer in the conference. “We need to get BioChar into the soil to absorb these chemicals, use them in water filtration and replace chemical fertilisers from China with organically seeded BioChar made locally.”
Chiang Mai has seen a 4.4 million ton increase in corn production in the last four years. Most of this waste is either burned or transported to the north’s main landfill in Hod District, where it is burned or where methane is siphoned off.
According to the local municipality representative at the meeting, over half a million tons of waste and bio-waste is dumped in the Hod landfill site every day. The landfill has been opened for 25 years. They also agreed to lobby the local municipality to make BioChar a local policy that can then be used as an example for other districts.
The two sides to the issue of global warming.
The first issue is addressing the cause of global warming and taking action to reduce the sources. We now know the excess amount of C02 that we are pouring into our environment is a major culprit. Switching to non-polluting sources of energy is a slow process, but at least we are working towards that goal.
The second issue is how do we reverse global warming? Our glaciers are melting, our oceans are heating up, sea levels are rising, coastal towns are subject to flooding, and worse. We are already there. Even if we were able to halt adding more C02 to the atmosphere tomorrow, would that be enough?
“Soil Biology is our only way to rapidly and massively draw down CO2 from the air to offset our ongoing and past carbon emissions, It can safely and naturally restore the hydrological cycles by increasing biogenic aerosols and cloud albedo that can readily cool the planet by the 3 watts/m2 needed to offset the now locked in greenhouse warming effects and avoid the Storms of Our Grandchildren.” Erich Knight
The future of sustainable agriculture
Biochar is not just “carbon neutral”, it is carbon negative, which means it can draw C02 from the air and sequester the damaging carbon emissions. It far exceeds typical commercial chemical fertilizers, by helping build up soil quality, is an excellent moisture retainer, and adsorbs harmful metals and chemicals that have poisoned our soils.
Biochar is the future, and sooner or later (preferably sooner) large fertilizer producers will see the benefits of embracing biochar and realize there is not only great potential for the environment, but for their pocket books as well.
Not only does biochar work in the soil, the process to make biochar reduces the amount of CO2 released in the first place. It is steadily growing in the market, small manufactures have already caught on and are producing quality biochar fertilizer for home gardeners. Instead of literally burning up potential income in open field burning of crop residue after harvest, they can increase their profits through converting it into usable and marketable biochar. The process is simple and straightforward. Anyone interested in learning how to DIY, we have free instructional videos and PDF’s to show you how.
Check out these two posts about the new technology Warm Heart has developed
Oceans are absorbing the majority of the heat
One thing leads to another. Global warming is having a big impact on ocean temperatures, lowering the PH level, more acidic seawater damages the ability of sea creatures to make shells. Shelled species, tiny and large, are the base of the ocean food pyramid and their loss threatens the food producing potential of the oceans.
Our beautiful coral reefs are bleaching out and dying.
Water expands when heated, which is contributing to the rise in sea level that has already caused flooding in many coastal towns.
The insurance industry is completely convinced that climate change is raising sea levels and increasing the number of major storms and floods.
Once again biochar enters the picture. The sooner the global community adopts biochar, the quicker we can turn around the devastating consequences of the warming oceans.
Finger Lakes Biochar recently blogged “This week I happened upon some fascinating biochar research focusing on charring seagrass wrack as a more sustainable means of disposal. Not only is this environmentally preferable as compared to landfilling it, which causes all sorts of GHG emissions from the decomposition stage, but in all likelihood it could be economically better too.” (read full article)
For more information on the current status of our ocean temperatures check out the article published in the New York Times by Tim Wallace “Oceans Are Absorbing Almost All of the Globe’s Excess Heat“.
Biochar in the home
There are so many uses for Biochar other than saving the planet!
Biochar works as a great absorbent, removing unwanted odors in your home. Whether used in the kitchen, bathrooms, linen closets, or anywhere else you may have an odor problem, biochar is your answer. You can even buy Biochar cat litter! Environmental safe and nose friendly.
Do you believe global warming is an issue we need to address?
Agree 74.1% / 71
Disagree 13.5% / 13
Am Concerned 8.3% / 8
Am Not Concerned 1.0% /1
Don’t know 1.0% / 1
Don’t care 1.0% / 1
Undecided 1.0% / 1
Other 0.0% / 0
We had over 1,300 visitors to our poll, only 96 voted. Thanks for participating!